Who are we?
The BC First Nations Forestry Council (the 'Forestry Council') is an advocacy organization that works to support Nations in their efforts to increase their role in as the rightful owners of forest lands and resources, including access to an equitable share of the benefits derived from forestry activities within their traditional territories.
The Forestry Council is an advocacy organization that works to support Nations in their efforts to increase their role in the governance and stewardship of forest lands and resources, and participation in the forest sector. The Forestry Council does not represent the Nations, nor are we a consultatory body.
- The Forestry Council assists First Nations in their efforts to improve and sustain the economic wealth and wellbeing of BC First Nations based on sustainability principles and Indigenous values that ensure the viability of the forests and lands for current and future generations.
- The Forestry Council supports First Nations in their work with governments and others to ensure that First Nations’ priorities, values, and principles are factored into forestry-related legislation, policy and program development.
- The Forestry Council promotes jobs and training to increase First Nations participation in the forest sector, and to connect First Nations talent to opportunities and growth in the forest sector.
- To promote the implementation of processes to restore the land and ecosystem;
- To work with partner organizations, such as the First Nations Leadership Council and others, to increase efficiencies and benefits to First Nations communities;
- To work with governments and others to ensure that First Nations' interests, values, and principles are factored into forestry-related policy and program development, including policy and legislation reform;
- To support First Nations in forest land use planning that is holistic and reflective of their traditional and contemporary knowledge, values, and governance systems;
- To advocate on forestry matters on behalf of First Nations communities including access to an equitable share of benefits derived from the use of forest lands and resources;
- To promote forestry-related opportunities for First Nations; and
- To foster government-to-government and other working relationships and partnerships.
A healthy forest ecosystem that continues to sustain and enhance the cultural, spiritual, environmental, economic and social lives of the original owners and caretakers and is managed through respectful government-to-government and community relationships based on recognition and respect.
Over the last several years, the Forestry Council has worked collaboratively with the province to engage First Nations to identify and incorporate First Nations priorities and values into the development of a BC First Nations Forest Strategy that increases the role First Nations play in the governance and stewardship of forest lands and resources. This includes the need for policy, legislative, and regulatory review and reform to support the implementation of the revised Forest Strategy. The Strategy is intended to help form a renewed mandate for the Forestry Council.
Early Beginnings & Mountain Pine Beetle Action Plan
In September 2005, the BC First Nations Leadership Council convened a meeting of First Nations Chiefs to discuss the Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) infestation and the ways and means of accessing funds to address the situation. The meeting was held in Prince George, BC and was attended by over 100 representatives of concerned First Nations.
Participants discussed priority issues and drafted a First Nations Mountain Pine Beetle Action Plan.
A First Nations Mountain Pine Beetle Working Group was struck to work with governments and others to implement the First Nations Mountain Pine Beetle Action Plan.
In 2006, this Working Group was firmly established as the BC First Nations Forestry Council.
The First Nations Forestry Council has created a number of strategic partnerships in order to coordinate information sharing, streamline political processes and facilitate optimal service delivery.
The BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit, and Union of BC Indian Chiefs has been working to advance reconciliation of Aboriginal title and rights with the assertion of Crown sovereignty and to improve the socio-economic circumstances of First Nations peoples and communities in BC. The Forestry Council reports and acquires its mandate, including board participation, from the leadership Council and the Chiefs in assembly.
First Nations Forestry Council is governed by a Board of Directors composed of representatives from the First Nations Summit (FNS), the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), and the BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN).
The Forestry Council is politically accountable to the First Nations Leadership Council and the First Nations of BC.
View the Forestry Council Governance Structure
Relevant Links & Resources
Board of Directors